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'Invest offshore'

By Graeme Kennedy

Friday 21st March 2003

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UK-based Bankers Investment Trust fund manager Alex Crooke has been in New Zealand advising institutional investors now is the right time to invest offshore.

Bankers, a subsidiary of Henderson Global Investors which has £110 billion in funds, manages £330 million, including 5% from New Zealand where it is NZSE-listed at about $6 ­ down from a 2000 peak of $13.

But Mr Crooke said with a dividend yield of 3.5% in a bear market, it was one of the best-performing funds available.

"Now is an interesting time to invest overseas. A strong kiwi dollar can buy more assets and there are many opportunities emerging such as China where western companies are outsourcing their manufacturing facilities, rather than produce at home in Europe or the US, as it is much cheaper there.

"And in Europe, where expectations are so low with the economic downturn and the Iraq situation that the market has become fixated with doom and gloom, stocks are cheap but include many basically good, large and strong companies with opportunities to grow.

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